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The Greatest of these is Love

‘And now abideth faith, hope, and charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.’

1st Corinthians 13 Verse 13

‘Chan fhaic sùil gràidh ach nithean matha.’ ('The eyes of love see nothing but good.') I heard these words sung in a Gaelic spiritual song many years ago and they have had a great impact upon my soul and my life. I try to live my life each day with these words as my watchword. When meeting friends it is easy to view them in love. But there are others who seem to do everything in their power to put love to the test!

Often over the years I have heard the brethren pray for 'an increase of faith,' 'for their hope to be strengthened,' 'for a lively witness' and for 'the church to be revived.' Fine petitions indeed, yet it is few that I have heard praying for love to be the dominant grace in their soul. Seldom have I heard a petition for an enemy!

I have a lovely friend here in Stornoway and she reads this chapter every day of her life. Her life reflects what she reads!

But many in life have had to ask the question, 'where were my friends when I needed them most?' We may have many 'fair-weather' friends. Those who stick by us when things are going well with us, but true friends will be there when things are not going so well. I have a few really close friends in various countries and I am convinced that they have been – as it were – ‘hand-picked’ by God.

I have learned much over these past three years about those I had considered to be my friends. When I truly needed help and support they were nowhere to be seen!

'I love you!'

Three small words that we all love to hear addressed to ourselves. These words may be uttered without real meaning behind them and that is just deception. Is there any greater comfort to the human being than to know that somewhere, somebody in this world cares for and loves them?

The more that we learn about Jesus and the closer we become in our personal relationship with Him, the more we are aware of the greatness of His love for us. We have perhaps many friends who we may feel would warrant our love but if I were to live for two eternities I doubt if I will ever fully grasp Christ's sacrificial love for ME!

There are days when just the thought, 'He chose ‘ME'’ makes me shake my head in awe and wonder.

Why ME? Why would the God of Glory veil Himself in human flesh and die as a criminal for a wretch like ME? How can this God, this Holy God keep on loving ME when I continually sin against Him every day?

Does His love for ME diminish as I continue to sin? Does His love grow cold as I let Him down each day? Does He turn His back on ME when things go wrong? Does He ever fail ME when I fail Him? Does He stop His ears as I pray to Him for mercy?

Hitherto the Lord has helped ME!

Would it not have been better had He chosen someone that would serve Him better? Someone more intelligent, more sincere, more devoted. Someone that was good, upright, honest, pure! Wonder of wonders, my friend He chose ME! Can you say that? I truly hope so.

Just for today, let us love our enemies as the Lord asks us to do. Just for today let us say 'I love you' to those that we love. Just for today, let our lives be different. Just for today let love reign in our souls.

One of the greatest regrets that I have in my life is that I was not able to tell my Dad just how much I loved him. I longed to tell him, even on his bed of sickness yet he slipped into unconsciousness before I dared to spit the words out! I have regretted my weakness ever since.

The more we are aware of Christ's love for us, then I believe the more of that same love will we be able to reflect in our daily walk. Let us yearn to know Him better. May we plead for His love to be shed abroad in our hearts and may we in turn display that love to our fellow man.

Love is truly an amazing grace. It will continue when hope and faith have fainted by the wayside. Let us be remembered for displaying this love in our lives. It is a gift of God. Ask and you shall receive.

Love rejoices not in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth. Love beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.

Cast down today? In despair? It will be this same love that will carry you through. Listen to the words of our Saviour as He addresses our souls. 'I have loved YOU with an everlasting love.'

Do you love Me?

Author - Iain Mackenzie  Edited by - Pastor Al Moak